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Published On: Thu, Feb 13th, 2014

Group Tasks Jonathan over Missing Oil Money

President Goodluck Jonathan

By Oghenekevwe Laba
LAGOS FEBRUARY 13TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Group under the aegis of Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative (TNCI) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to come out and clear the air on his involvement on the huge missing oil money.
In a press statement titled “Who Stole Our $20 Billion Oil Money: President Jonathan has Case to Answer” made available to Urhobotoday, the hroup said it is disappointing that apart from reportedly asking the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to resign, President Goodluck Jonathan has kept mute since the report of the scandal in the oil sector was exposed by the CBN Governor, adding that common sense dictates that the President swing to action immediately to get to the root of the allegation, even if Sanusi was only blowing hot air, considering his position under his administration.
“But appallingly, Mr President adopted the siddon look mode typical of Nigeria leaders, who believes that after the media noise, calm, will return, and Nigerians will move on and forget.
“While we call on the President to swing to action immediately, we equally call on Mallam Lamido Sanusi to get his facts correct. A situation where our central bank governor cannot make up his mind as to whether the missing amount is 49.8, 10.9, or 20billion US Dollars is worrisome.
“However, more worrisome is that our commonwealth to the tune of billions of dollar oil money is unaccounted for. It does not matter whether the amount is $49.8 billion originally alleged to have been illegally siphoned, or the most current $20b that is still missing from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It is more tragic that it is suspected that the money has been diverted with the 2015 election in mind,” the statement alleged.
The group which claimed it is speaking on behalf of Nigerians insisted that the controversy which has been secretly ongoing since September 2013 but now fully in the public domain cannot be waved away as we have done to other cases of corrupt practices, adding that the Senate through which Sanusi made the allegation should urgently summon the CBN Governor and the Ministers of Petroleum and of Finance to a public hearing, which should be televised live, for them to explain to Nigerians where the $20billion went.
While calling for the suspension of the Petroleum Minister, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke pending the probe of the saga, the group argued that the NNPC stance that the money has gone into legitimate projects sounds hollow just as it demanded that the government name all the ‘projects’ for which the money was used,
“If this government claim of fighting corruption is to be taken seriously. Certain questions need be asked henceforth: Can the NNPC still be trusted as the custodian of our oil wealth? Or has it become a conduit pipe to siphon money by Government officials. Is the NNPC the ATM of the Federal Government as claimed by opposition leader, Bola Tinubu? Has the NNPC become the cash cow for every occupant of Aso villa? “ the statement queried.
Consequently, the group called on the President Jonathan to break his silence and come out publicly to answer these questions over the missing money, maintaining that the perpetrators of the crime must be brought to book.

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